Debunking [And Moving Beyond] the Myth that Small Law Firms Can't Afford the Best eDiscovery

27 June 2018 by Anith Mathai eDiscovery small-law-firm

eDiscovery costs have dropped! So your small law firm can now afford the best eDiscovery. Just use a new-generation eDiscovery app and follow these best practices: (1) Find an app that makes uploading easy (2) Learn how to protect your metadata (3) Host your files in the Cloud (4) Learn to make ‘advanced searches’ (5) Share ‘productions’ via your eDiscovery app.

Many small- and medium-sized firms can’t afford eDiscovery. And they make up 75% of the market.

Working with electronically stored information (ESI) is easier and more efficient than working with paper documents. But eDiscovery (e-discovery) software often costs thousands of dollars, which small law firms can’t afford. So, if most of their cases don’t yet need much eDiscovery, they can’t justify investing in expensive eDiscovery software. Also, they don’t have the budget to hire eDiscovery consultants. The result? They miss out on new business.

Many countries are passing laws to set protocols for eDiscovery. So, small law firms don’t have the same tools as larger firms, but they are held to the same standards. They can be accused of tampering with or destroying evidence. Or hiding evidence that could hurt their case. All because the eDiscovery world has passed them by.

Luckily, there’s hope. New technology is driving down prices.

It now costs much less to design good eDiscovery software. And this lowers the barrier to entry. Which increases competition and drives down prices. So, small law firms like yours can afford good eDiscovery.

And you can take it a step further by using these best-practices to optimize eDiscovery:

1. Find software that makes uploading files and data easy.

Larger firms with custom-software will have IT teams to help upload data. Or they’ll get a third party to upload data for them. But with the right eDiscovery software, you can save money and simplify the process. Just make sure your software lets you ‘drag-and-drop’ data into it. Like you would when moving files around on your PC or Mac. Also, some apps charge extra to ‘process’ your uploaded files (learn more about ‘processing.’) That’s an unnecessary expense, so make sure processing is included in the pricing.

2. Learn how to protect metadata. It can win cases for you.

‘Metadata’ is a game-changing feature that eDiscovery can harness. When you create a document on your computer, the application you’re using (e.g., Microsoft Word) records a bunch of information and embeds it into the document. Things like who created it, when they created it, when it was last opened, etc. This ‘data about data’ (i.e., metadata) is a digital footprint which tracks the history of the document. And it gives you valuable information that you probably didn’t know exists. Unfortunately, metadata is fragile and can be destroyed and manipulated quite easily. So, make sure you eDiscovery software keeps it safe. Learn more about metadata and how your eDiscovery app can help you protect it.

3. Host your eDiscovery files in the Cloud. It cuts costs and lets you work on-the-go.

Larger firms will probably store their files on private servers. But this is very expensive. Luckily, modern eDiscovery gives you a better and more affordable option: Storing your files in the Cloud. Software giants like Amazon and Google lease storage and computing power to businesses all over the world. And their thousands of interconnected servers form the ‘Cloud.’ Contrary to what most legacy vendors like you to think, your data in the Cloud is safe. It is encrypted, and can only be accessed by you (you only need an Internet connection). The Cloud also saves you money (the more people that use the Cloud, the cheaper it becomes for everyone). Learn more about why Cloud-based eDiscovery is safe, convenient and cost-efficient.

4. Learn how to make ‘advanced’ searches. It’s the quickest way to find the files you need.

Make sure your eDiscovery software lets you make ‘advanced’ searches. These are highly specific searches that can find results even in the most obscure files, in seconds. With an advanced search, you’ll look for combinations of keywords, names, email addresses, dates, etc. And you can save time by telling your eDiscovery software’s search engine what not to search for. Learn more about the magic of advanced searches.

5. Share productions via your eDiscovery software. Don’t download and mail/email them.

The latest Cloud-based eDiscovery software will let you ‘produce’ files in minutes. And you’ll choose an agreed-upon format: PDFs, single/multi-page TIFF images, or the (original) ‘native’ format. But people often make the mistake of downloading and mailing/emailing productions. This is both unsafe and a waste of time. Instead, use eDiscovery software that lets you share a link to your production. Which will give the recipient direct access to your production. That way, you can invalidate the link at any point: If, for example, you send it to the wrong person. Or, if the person you send the link to is taken off the project. You can track when the production was downloaded, and you don’t have to worry about file size limits. Find out more about sharing productions from within your eDiscovery app.

Looking for affordable eDiscovery Software that fits all the above criteria? Try GoldFynch.

It’s a next-generation Cloud eDiscovery software that prioritizes things that matter to small law firms.

  • Pay just $27 per month for a basic 3 GB case. That’s significantly less–every month–than the nearest comparable software. And hundreds of dollars cheaper than many others. GoldFynch pricing is transparent and available on the website.
  • It’s a flat rate and pro-rated. So you can budget for it easily. With legacy software, the billing is complicated and opaque and your bill changes depending on how much data you use.
  • Got a small case that might become a large one later? GoldFynch scales from small to large. So, choose from a range of case sizes (3 GB to 150 GB, and more) and don’t waste money on space you don’t need. Plus, you don’t need to pay to ‘unlock’ premium features. You’ll have the full power of GoldFynch even with a starter case.
  • It takes just minutes to get going. It runs in the Cloud, so you use it through your web browser (Google Chrome recommended). No installation. No sales calls or emails. Plus, you get a free, fully-functional trial case (0.5 GB of data and processing cap of 1 GB), without adding a credit card.
  • You get the best technical support: It’s designed, developed and run by the same team. So, the technical support isn’t outsourced. Which means prompt and reliable service.

Want to find out more?

For more about eDiscovery for small law firms, check out these articles.